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A Cultural Christmas For All at MediaCity

Visitors can enjoy a culture-packed programme of activities taking place across MediaCity and Salford Quays this Winter.

The MediaCity Winter season of culture kicked off this week with a virtual light switch on hosted by BBC Radio 1 presenter Katie Thistleton and CBBC sensation Hacker T Dog at 6pm on Wednesday, 24 November, marking the start of a cultural Christmas jam-packed with activities happening throughout MediaCity and Salford Quays.

Watch here

Winter Events at Media City

The iconic waterside destination is hosting an unrivalled array of cultural attractions this Winter, including the world class Van Gogh Alive immersive exhibition and artist Luke Jerram’s giant floating earth which is located on the Manchester Ship Canal and forms part of Quays Culture’s Lightwaves 2021 illumination trail. MediaCity has also been transformed into a festive wonderland featuring a stunning 25ft real Christmas tree and from 1st December, a state-of-the art digital tree.

Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett said: “This Christmas is all about bringing people back together and there are plenty of free things for families to enjoy together from the Lightwaves illuminations to the Imperial War Museum North’s commemorative and thought-provoking poppy installation.”

MediaCity’s Place Director, Josie Cahill added: “Through working with our wonderful cultural partners at MediaCity and The Quays, we’re delighted that visitors from Salford and beyond can experience a varied programme of magical and unique experiences whatever your age or budget.”

The full line up of activity includes:

Van Gogh Alive

The world’s most visited multi-sensory experience now located on the Piazza lets you view Van Gogh’s most famous artworks in a kaleidoscope of colour. Set to an evocative classical score that’s delivered via a high-fidelity 3D sound system, this combination of sound, 3,000 moving images of Van Gogh’s seminal work, and aromas will give visitors the sensation of walking right into Van Gogh’s paintings as if they’re living and breathing.

Until January 23rd, 2022


Floating Earth by Luke Jerram (part of Lightwaves 2021)

Measuring 10 metres in diameter and featuring high-tech NASA imagery, as well as a surround-sound musical track by BAFTA award-winning composer Dan Jones, this enormous and awe-inspiring artwork lights up the water of the The Manchester Ship Canal and encourages us to question our relationship with our planet. Luke Jerram, UK artist known worldwide for his large-scale public artwork, has created this brand-new work to give visitors a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.

 From Friday 3rd December


Lightwaves 2021 by Quays Culture

Lightwaves, the annual 10-day light festival animating Salford Quays, features its most ambitious line-up to date. Alongside Floating Earth, there are eleven installations, including Cygnus by Loomaland, a mesmerising water ballet featuring 12 perfectly synchronised, glowing robot swans and Sirens by Davy & Kristin McGuire – an installation that uses holographic projections to transform public waterways into mythical underwater worlds inhabited by supernatural sea creatures and mysterious mermaids.

 Friday 3rd to Sunday 12th December


Winter - Lightwaves

Poppies at the Imperial War Museum North

Following the success of Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window, which toured in 2018 to mark the end of the First World War centenary, the iconic sculptures have been combined and returned to IWM North, where they are on permanent display as part of a brand-new artwork. Reimagined into a dramatic new 30-metre call sculptural form using 14,000 of the poppy sculptures, Poppies is displayed within the unique architecture of IWM North’s Air Shard.

 Permanent exhibition


Ten Years to Save the World at The Open Centre

Ten Years to Save the World is a comic art exhibition showcasing 10 leading artists from the UK and the Philippines addressing climate themes and representing the decade we have left to save the world. It demonstrates the power of comics to stimulate climate change action and features internationally celebrated artists, including Manix Abrera, Kajo Baldisimo with Budjette Tan, Sayra Begum, Zoom Rockman, Jack Teagle and Clarice Tudor. The exhibition will take place alongside the running of Floating Earth at Lightwaves, reflecting MediaCity’s ongoing commitment to a more sustainable future.

 Wednesday, January 8th until Thursday, January 14th

The Open Centre


Box on the Docks Winter Village

Box on the Docks’ winter season combines festive cocktails, street food and a cosy tipi alongside its art-adorned sheds and greenhouses. Nestled among the fir trees in the MediaCity gardens, enjoy food from independents including The Tasty Greek, Chapati Café and Beigel with a warming mulled wine or cider for the ultimate hygge experience.

A global sensation joins the Box on the Docks artist line-up this season – Van Gogh! Brand-new wrapped boxes are located outside the must-see Van Gogh Alive exhibition. Don’t forget to also visit the permanent residents, whether it be treating yourself to a relaxing pint from Seven Brothers after a long day looking at all MediaCity has to offer or grabbing a healthy bite at Vertigo.

Events - Winter Box on the Docks

 Christmas shows at The Lowry

There’s something for everyone at The Lowry this winter; Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker fills this classic with wit, pathos and magical fantasy, while families will love stepping through the wardrobe into the enchanted kingdom of Narnia for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. For younger audiences, the touching, funny and utterly original Stick Man will delight.

Tickets and more info:

Festive Makers Markets at Quayside

Every weekend from Saturday, 20th November until Sunday, 19th December, local makers, bakers and artisans, will tempt visitors with a seasonal pick of festive food and drink, art and design, plus vintage and modern crafts. Pick up festive tasty treats and bespoke homemade Christmas gifts.

Late night shopping will return to the Quayside shopping mall from 25 November, and for those looking to bag Salford’s must-have Christmas stocking-filler the Monopoly City of Salford Edition boards are available to buy from the Customer Service desk.

 From Saturday, 20th November


ITV I’m a Celeb Jungle Challenge

I’m a Celeb is back on our screens. So why not get into the spirit and explore the brand new I’m A Celebrity… Jungle Challenge. This new action-packed experience will put your nerve and agility to the test! Race against each other collecting stars from a bounty of physical and mental challenges all in an epic jungle setting complete with Main Camp, The Throne and Winners Bridge!

Tickets and more info:

Event - Winter I'm A Celeb

To find out more about this year’s programme of cultural events at MediaCity, please visit 

For more information please contact: Sam Walker or Rebecca Parsons at Carousel: 0161 302 0206, /

About MediaCity

MediaCity is a waterside community that’s part of Salford Quays in Salford, Greater Manchester. It’s home to some of the world’s most exciting creative, tech and media brands, from BBC North and ITV to Ericsson, The Hut Group Group, Kellogg’s and over 250 creative and tech businesses. Three education establishments are based there, including the University of Salford’s dedicated MediaCity campus, while at its heart is HOST, the Home of Skills & Technology, which supports innovators in data, analytics, cybersecurity, AI, gaming and immersive technologies. Alongside a growing roster of local, independent food, drink and retail operators is a dedicated shopping centre, parks and public spaces, and one of the UK’s most visited arts centres, The Lowry. Sustainability is core to MediaCity’s future: home to the UK’s largest cluster of net zero carbon buildings, it has two dedicated Metrolink tram stops, while 100% of its energy comes from renewable sources. It is also a popular residential neighbourhood, with MediaCity as a whole set to double in size within the next decade.

MediaCity is a joint venture between Peel L&P and Legal and Landsec. Together, their inclusive and collaborative approach to the development of MediaCity will ensure that it grows into a community united by creativity, and a place of play, imagination and innovation.

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